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Press Release
Tuesday, June 26, 2018

In an effort to keep our community informed on the opiate crisis in Franklin County, we are releasing preliminary overdose death statistics for the first quarter of 2018.

From January 1, 2018 to March 31, 2018 there were 111 overdose deaths in Franklin County. This is a preliminary number as not all cases have been finalized. We have seen a ≈13% decrease in overdose deaths from the first quarter of 2017 compared to the first quarter of 2018. However, when comparing first quarter data for 2016 to 2018 we have seen a 35% increase.

Fentanyl-related overdose deaths accounted for 67.5% of first quarter 2018 overdose deaths which is similar to the rate for the same period of 2017. Cocaine- related overdose deaths were 40%. Methamphetamine-related overdose deaths were at 9% of all overdose deaths this quarter. Heroin-related overdose deaths this quarter were at 14%. Overall, opiate-related deaths the first quarter of 2018 accounted for 84% of overdose deaths.
Decedents under 39 years of age accounted for 58.5% of the overdose deaths this quarter of 2018.

The majority of deaths were males: 68% male vs. 32% female. White males were again the majority of overdose deaths this period: 77% white vs. 20% African American vs. 3% other. The five zip codes with the highest number of overdose deaths this period have changed slightly from 2017: 43204, 43223, 43213, 43206 and 43123.

As you can see, fentanyl continues to fuel the numbers of overdose deaths in our county. We have, however, seen a decrease in deaths from the same period in 2017 to 2018. Some of the factors that have contributed to this are:
  • Increased availability of Narcan or naloxone used by EMS or bystanders.
  • Large seizures of drugs by federal, state and local law enforcement decreasing supply.
  • Stricter guidelines for prescribers and pharmacists of opiates decreasing supply.
  • Increased awareness of the issue and collaboration by a variety of agencies.
The FCCO has been instrumental in creating awareness through various efforts since 2015. We are also proud to partner with a number of agencies in the County on a variety of initiatives to reduce the rates of deaths from overdoses.

This information will also be available on our website in a few days’ time: Please see attached graphs for visual representations of the statistics.